Eric de Cromières, president of the Clermont rugby club, is dead

Eric de Cromières, September 24, 2005, in the stands of the Marcel-Michelin stadium, in Clermont-Ferrand.

He was not the most famous president of the Top 14, but arguably one of the most influential and respected. Eric de Cromières, president of ASM Clermont Auvergne since 2013, died on the night of Wednesday to Thursday at the age of 66 from cancer, announced the Auvergne club on Thursday July 23 in the morning.

The state of health of Mr. Cromières, who had announced in early July in The mountain fight this cancer since the end of winter, had “Degraded quickly” for a few weeks, said the spokesperson for the club. The administration committee will meet in the coming days to designate a successor.

This graduate of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) had followed the classic course of all the leaders of ASM Clermont rugby, established historically in the Montferrand district. Former Michelin executive (historical owner of ASM since its creation in 1911), he was knighted by his predecessor, René Fontes, historic leader of ASM, who died of a heart attack in 2019 at the age of 77 years old.

Under his leadership, the ASM won its second title of champion of France in 2017 as well as the European Challenge in 2019, reached the final of the European Cup twice (2015 and 2017) and two more times the final of Top 14 (2015 and 2019).

Read also: Again champion, Clermont wants to “turn the page” of his defeats in the final

René Fontès had raised the Jaunards to the highest national level, who had finally raised the Brennus Shield in 2010 and put an end to the Clermont curse of the lost finals (ten between 1936 and 2009). Eric de Cromières kept them in the French and European gratin with the same recipe, a policy of stability – Franck Azéma has been a manager since 2014 – based on the training of young people from the club and recruitment on a case-by-case basis.

A fine diplomat, but firm, placid and full of common sense, Mr. Cromières opposed the establishment of federal contracts at the beginning of 2017, a desire of Bernard Laporte, who became president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR). He then participated in the commission to find a way out of the crisis between the FFR and the League.

“It’s the outcome that can be unpleasant, but cancer itself, for me, is a disease like any other”, he had relativized in early July by announcing his cancer. He was still participating in meetings for the resumption of club competitions, interrupted in early March by the health crisis.

The announcement of the death of Eric de Cromières drew many tributes. Bernard Laporte greeted “A great leader and a generous man”, when the National Rugby League evoked a “Emblematic president who participated in the development of professional rugby in his region and in France”.

The World with Reuters


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